Heart & Vascular Diagnosis Whether you're experiencing a heart emergency, vascular disease, or have long-term symptoms, you want the fastest and most accurate diagnosis. We offer the most advanced Heart & Vascular Program in western Massachusetts, and we have the experience to accurately diagnose and treat your heart condition. A Full Range of Diagnostic Tests Diagnostic tests may include: Blood tests – You may need blood taken from a blood vessel in your hand, arm, or the bend in your elbow. More than one blood draw may be needed depending on the tests ordered. Angiogram – A special dye is injected into the arteries under local anesthetic, and X-rays are taken to reveal the arteries and the presence of any narrowing or blockages. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – An electrocardiogram is a recording of the electrical currents that cause the heart to beat. From this recording, your doctor can detect many abnormalities including disturbances of heart rhythm and abnormal thickening of the heart muscle. Echocardiogram – Also called an echo, this test involves ultrasound, using sound waves to show pictures of the size and shape of your heart. An echo also looks at how your heart moves when it is beating. This test can help identify problems such as narrowing or leaking of valves, heart defects such as abnormal communication between the right and left sides of the heart, and heart muscle malfunction. Stress test – This test helps your doctor see the changes taking place in your heart during exercise. It checks for blockages in the arteries of your heart. During the test, an EKG is done while you ride an exercise bike or walk on a treadmill. You may require an exercise stress test with imaging pictures of the blood flow to your heart (also called nuclear imaging), which also requires giving you IV medications. Tilt table test – If you are experiencing dizziness or lightheadedness (known as pre-syncope), or have fainted or passed out (syncope) in the past, your doctor may have you take a tilt table test. During the test, you will lie on a table, which will be tilted upward while heart rate and blood pressure are constantly monitored. You may be given medication to help safely reproduce your symptoms. Other Tests We Offer Other diagnostic tests we may perform include: Ankle brachial index (ABI) – A simple non-invasive test that measures the ratio of blood pressure in your ankle to that in your arm Computerized axial tomography (CT or CAT) scan – Uses X-rays to create 3-D images of a part of the body. It can be done with contrast (X-ray) dye if your doctor wants to see the vessels, known as CAT scan angiogram or CTA Doppler ultrasound – A non-invasive test using sound waves to provide an image of the inside of the blood vessel to determine if a specific artery has plaque buildup Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – Uses a strong magnet to make 3-D images of a part of the body. It can show if your carotid and peripheral arteries have narrowing or blockage. It can be done using contrast dye as well if your doctor wants to see vessels more clearly, known as magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) Round-The-Clock Heart Care Our cardiac catheterization laboratories are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide fast diagnosis and lifesaving treatment to patients experiencing emergency symptoms.